Apple Pay Suica Express Transit is one of the great killer features of Apple Pay in Japan. Most of the time it works great but some older readers in stores are not compatible with Express Transit. Fortunately this is changing fast.
Panasonic makes some of the most reliable NFC readers I have encountered. On February 8 Panasonic took an unusual step of announcing a new NFC reader device, JT-R600CR. The new reader is FeliCa and NFC Type A/B compatible, it accepts any and all NFC and swipe cards if the POS system is plugged into the appropriate credit card networks. It is also the first Panasonic reader that is Apple Pay savvy and will improve automatic Apple Pay card recognition on the POS side.
Panasonic is aiming this international savvy NFC card reader for the flood of overseas visitors for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Engadget Japan’s Junya Suzuki wrote a good Japanese article covering the Panasonic announcement.
Clearly, Apple Pay is already shaking up the Japanese contactless pay market.